Fort Stockton & Big Bend National Park, TX. – 2-3 Oct 2012
After leaving Austin we drove to Fort Stockton, TX which is the last town before making your way to Big Bend National Park. Fort Stockton is about 2 hours from Big Bend (right on the Rio Grande – Mexican border) which should be a good indication of how remote the park really is! We left Fort Stockton Tuesday morning en route for Big Bend. We arrived to the park in the heat of the afternoon. After setting up camp we went for a hike down to the Rio Grande and caught some great views of the small Mexican farming towns boarding Texas near the river. We managed to sneak in a little nap after our hike and got up just in time to watch the sunset. We made dinner and had an early night.
We woke up early the next morning, had breakfast, packed up our campsite and headed out on another hike. We decided to do the Windows Hike, a popular hike in the park. The 3.5 mile trail descends through the walls of Oak Creek Canyon to the ultimate view, the Window, which provides a view of the desert and surrounding canyons. The view is the scariest part of the hike since the canyon rock leading right to the Window is slick and there are no railings or barriers. Jeremy managed to get closer to the edge than I was wiling to and got some great pictures. After taking a break and enjoying the view we turned around and headed out of the canyon
We left the park after our hike in desperate need of air conditioning! Once we left the park the first town we passed was Terlingua, TX now a ghost town but was once a bustling mining district in the mid-1800’s. We drove through the abandoned town, now more of a tourist attraction and came across the old cemetery. We pulled over to explore the cemetery and experience what was left of this historic town. After leaving Terlingua we made our way north through Texas into New Mexico. We pulled over that night, exhausted from our hike earlier that day and the heat to a little town called Carlsbad, New Mexico. We crashed for the night and left the next morning for Santa Fe, New Mexico.